Around 93 percent of the over P16 billion fund for cash and employment assistance for Filipino workers here and abroad, under the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act (Bayanihan 2), had been released, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said yesterday.
Labor Undersecretary Renato Ebarle said P14 billion out of the P16.4 billion budget allocation had been forwarded to the regional offices in the country and labor offices abroad for the beneficiaries of the financial and job programs of the government.
“We have downloaded 93 percent of the P16.4 billion, as of Dec. 7. Our regional directors will act for the immediate release of the money to the beneficiaries. It will be released through money remittance centers,” he said in a virtual forum.
The three major programs of the DOLE are the Covid-19 Adjustment Measures Program (Camp), Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers (Tupad) Program, and Abot Kamay ang Pagtulong (Akap).
Beneficiaries for Camp are formal sector workers displaced by the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic. They will receive a one-time cash assistance of P5,000.
Tupad qualified applicants will be provided with emergency employment assistance where they will be paid based on the prevailing minimum wage in the region they will be employed.
Displaced, stranded, and onsite overseas Filipino workers are the beneficiaries of Akap, and will get one-time case assistance of US$200 or P10,000.
Ebarle said they are looking to finish the payout on the third week of December, as ordered by Secretary Silvestre Bello III.
“We were tasked to make sure that the release will be immediate and for us to pay all of the beneficiaries before Dec. 18,” he added.
The DOLE will also hold a nationwide and international awarding of cash and employment assistance to beneficiaries today, in celebration of its 87th anniversary.
Ebarle said all 16 regional offices in the country and some Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) will give out financial and job aid to beneficiaries in the country and abroad.
Ebarle said the POLOs in Singapore, Hong Kong, and Dubai will also hold payouts to OFW-beneficiaries. “It’s international because our POLO in Singapore as well as in Hong Kong and Dubai will also give payouts to Akap beneficiaries,” he added.*PNA